Braun laments parting with history

By TONY NIVENS / Community Columnist

“I have lived in nicer homes, but I have loved living here. It has been unusually peaceful,” said Mike Braun, owner of the Old Crane Home, next door to the original building of Chelsea Church of God. “It feels like I am living in the grace of the prayers here.”

Braun is referring to the fact the home once served as the parsonage for the church and was the site of ladies’ prayer meetings.

“I can just picture them praying for peace to the residence,” he said. “I don’t know, but I am going to miss it.”

Braun plans to move to Colorado “to spend more time with his daughter and son.”

“I lived near them for the last several years and managed my business here from long distance,” he said.

Many will remember the CitruSolution Carpet Cleaning Vans in the drive.

“I came back, built the business up and sold it,” he said. “Now I have finished the renovation, plan to sell the home and return to my family. But, I have really loved living here.”

“Like a lot of old houses they started with a small core of rooms and added more as the family grew,” said Braun. “You can see the additions from the attic and basement.”

“The attic shows where someone lowered the 10-foot ceilings down to 8. You can see a part of a shingled roof covered by an added roof.”

It may have started as just two or three rooms wrapped around a fireplace heated by coal. You can still see the spot for the original coal chute.

“From my understanding it was originally built in 1914,” said Braun. “The inspector I talked to when I purchased it, said it was in the top one to two percent of the houses for that era that he had seen for quality of construction.”

“That timing sounds about right,” added Chelsea Historical Society Vice-President Janice Clark, contributing to the interview from the Society’s point of view. “That would have been about six years after Weldon’s Grocery was built in ’08, when the train came through.”

Speaking also of the train, intersection changes and keeping access to Old Town Chelsea, Braun feels he has the solution.

“Just put a pedestrian tunnel under the new road,” he said, “Just wide enough for a golf cart. Then you can park on the City Hall side and have access to the city storage and other old buildings.”

“One of the best things about living here is the view from the front windows and porch,” said Braun. “I can see all over Chelsea.”

Many longtime Chelsea residents will remember a friendly wave from that inviting front porch.